about Kazim

Sky Ward

Wesleyan University Press, Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2013
100 pages, 6 x 9"
$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7357-5 
$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7358-2

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From the publisher: Drunk on the sun and the sea, Kazim Ali’s new poems swoop linguistically but ground themselves vividly in the daily and real. Both imprisoned by endlessness and dependent on it for nurturing and care, in Sky Ward Ali goes further than ever before in sounding out the spaces between music and silence, between sky and ocean, between human and eternal. “Daily I wish stitched here to live,” moans his Prometheus, wondering what release from familiar bondage might actually portend. “So long liberation,” his Icarus sings as he plummets from the sky with desperation and grace, ready to unfeather and plunge into the everything-new. Whether in the extended poem-prayer to Alice Coltrane or in the “deleted scenes” and “alternate endings” to his critically acclaimed volume Bright Felon, or in the spirit-infused and multifaceted lyrics he has become known for, Ali once again reinvents possibilities for the personal lyric and narrative.


“Through his attempt to fly, Icarus was injured by the heavens, not healed. From this basis in myth, Ali explores the ongoing conflict between religion and homosexuality…In Ali’s interpretation of the myth, the rise and fall of Icarus is not a straight line, instead it is a constant plummeting, soaring, and plunging again.”
Puerto del Sol

“Beautiful, echoing poetry that finds ‘No return home but an eternity of transformation.’ Ali has a delicate touch and these poems leave us (for we are reluctant to leave them), playing in space.”
—Tracie Morris, author of Rhyme Scheme

“Ali is one of the very few poets now writing dedicated to the enlargement (rather than the abandonment) of the lyric mode. With these new poems, he has opened a wide, new space for the music of what happens and shown us a worthy, if challenging, task for that music.”
—Donald Revell, author of The Bitter Withy

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